Château Fourcas Dupré, in the Listrac-Médoc appellation in Bordeaux, belongs to Patrice and Ghislain Pagès. Inherited from their father, they bring the estate up to the level of the great Bordeaux wines by offering unique terroir wines that are representative of an exceptional appellation. Pragmatic and realistic, Ghislain leads his project with great passion and curiosity.
Patrice and Ghislain work on the family estate Fourcas Dupré on the Listrac-Médoc appellation in the Bordeaux region. This property was passed on to them by their father: "My family was a wine and cereal producer in Tunisia for years. When we returned to France, my father invested in a small property in the Médoc with a friend: Château Fourcas Dupré," says Ghislain.
The property is small, and in view of the castles that are falling into ruins and the vines that have been uprooted in the Médoc, Château Fourcas Dupré, with its production in good condition, looks great: a sublime terroir, a history, exceptional wines..." The castle is a historic Bordeaux property. The name has existed since 1843. We are in the Union des Grands Crus, which means that our wines are tasted with all the classified growths of Bordeaux. Fourcas Dupré wines are an alternative to great wines," Ghislain points out.
While Patrice took over the estate as manager, Ghislain spent a few years working elsewhere. Until the day when the two brothers made a terrible observation: "Little by little, the taste of wine was lost in the Bordeaux region. Amateurs drank labels, brands. In the 2000s, try to differentiate between a Pauillac and a Moulis! It was becoming impossible. People consumed less Bordeaux for the taste itself than for the brand."
An objective was then set: to enhance the value of the castle and the name Fourcas Dupré. "We want people to drink a Fourcas Dupré for its taste, the taste of the wine, the taste of the terroir," insists the winegrower.
It is with this in mind that he joins the castle team to work alongside his brother in the commercial part.
With this in mind, the two brothers are working to transform the image of their wines. "We have really worked on the product in order to make French and foreign consumers want to consume our wines again. »
To Ghislain's great delight, the result is now there: "By developing the taste of the terroir, the wines have gained in finesse, complexity and balance". Château Fourcas Dupré is not the only one to have made this change, many winegrowers have returned to more authentic wines, profiles of terroirs, limiting the use of barrels in particular. Ghislain is delighted: "Fortunately, we are in the process of rediscovering the notion of the taste of wine. In this sense, we were a bit of a pioneer.
Without a doubt, it would have been a pity for the Pagès family to miss this turn because the Listrac-Médoc terroir, on which the Château's vines grow, is so unique.
Ghislain describes it with great enthusiasm and pride:
"We want to return to the taste of the terroir because we have an exceptional terroir. We have Pyrenean gravel and a clay and limestone subsoil. Very rarely, we also have mixed gravel. These are clay soils mixed with Pyrenean gravel. It's great and magical at the same time. »
This particular terroir makes the Médoc the Bordeaux appellation where the most Merlot is found. This emblematic grape variety from Bordeaux is mainly found in the "Hautes Terres" vintage of the Château.
"We wanted a modern, contemporary wine, which at the same time remains a local wine". To do this, the winegrowers had to make changes in their winemaking processes: low temperatures, short macerations to extract the fruit without the too hard tannins and ageing in barrels on only 50% of the cuvée... Ghislain is extremely satisfied with the result: "Hautes Terres is a wine that is both fruity and relatively woody. We are in a very classic wood, and at the same time, we keep the minerality, which is the trademark of Fourcas Dupré and the Pyrenean gravel. »
In wine, each experience brings its share of learning and know-how. With the elaboration of this cuvée, it is the way of producing in general that the winegrowers have reworked. Ghislain testifies to this: "We are really not in the extraction business. We have reduced the fermentation temperatures and reduced the vatting time. Making Hautes Terres wine has brought us a lot for the elaboration of the great wine. »
Finally, the wines of Château Fourcas Dupré have a unique taste specific to the unique terroir of Listrac-Médoc: "All our wines have a different taste from the other appellations. They have a style unique to Fourcas Dupré. "The icing on the cake: at prices that are not speculative and that remain affordable for all amateurs. The evidence on Les Grappes.
For Ghislain, working with nature is a matter of course: "I grew up in the vineyard on the property. When I'm in the middle of the vineyards, I have an incredible fishing, I want to do a lot of things. It's in my blood, I can't help it. Added to the passion of the vines that of the wine..... "I love the taste of wine. It is a product that I have always loved".... culture and tradition, all the ingredients are there to describe a magnificent profession.
"In wine, it is often said that there is 12% alcohol and 78% culture. It is a handicraft product. When you produce wine in France, you have the impression of being an ambassador. The product is fabulous. He is well known. There is an expectation on the part of people, whether they are close or far from you. He concludes: "We all work in this profession out of passion. »
Manon Mouly (for Les Grappes)